A bronze sculpture has been unveiled in Limerick to commemorate the iconic broadcaster, proud son of Limerick and Freeman of the city, the late Sir Terry Wogan.
Large crowds gathered at Harvey’s Quay on the banks of the River Shannon as Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon conducted one of his last events in his official capacity.
He welcomed past colleagues of Sir Terry’s from the BBC and the Children in Need charity and members of the TOGs (Terry’s Old Geezers and Gals) fan club who had travelled from Britain to be at the official unveiling ceremony.
The sculpture made from bronze by artist Rory Breslin, whose previous works include the bronze/stone Sun Goddess in Westport and the bronze bust of WB Yeats at the National Library of India.
It sees Terry seated on a chair with microphone in hand preparing to have another one of his infamous chats, as a large screen played past TV appearances on the day. Fans were also able to share their memories of the broadcasting legend by visiting a special ‘pop-up museum’ run by the curator of Limerick Museum, Dr Matthew Potter.
“Today, we honour a man who, certainly across the water, was our greatest export. Terry meant many different things to many people; but to all those he meant an awful lot,” Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said.
“There was a huge outpouring of grief when Terry passed away last year and it is only fitting that we remember him in his home city.
“Terry has a special place in our hearts, and I hope those memories can be relived by fans with the unveiling of this sculpture, right in the heart of the city of his birth.”
Terry received the highest honour possible when he was made a Freeman of Limerick in 2007 and was given a special lifetime achievement award by Limerick Person of the Year. He was conferred with an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Limerick in 2004.
“People have stories to tell about Terry, many of them about his skills as a broadcaster, but also stories of a decent man, who guided and helped many. It is an honour for me to make a piece like this, of such an iconic figure,” said sculptor Breslin.
“As Limerick is his home place I want to celebrate the man’s skills but also to see the relaxed Terry, engaging and familiar to us all. He was a genial man, quick to smile, cheerful and warm. I hope this piece conveys that. That is the challenge in making a sculpture like this – to capture the nature of the person and to make sure it works in the context it will be located.”
But some were quick to poke fun and criticise the new sculpture, with users on social media comparing it to a ‘Spitting Image’ version of the star, or that it looked more like musicians Glen Campbell and Nick Cave.